You may find that with each birthday during these ‘middle years’, your child will develop new characteristics.
- Six year-olds tend to be demanding and bossy.
- Seven year-olds have a tendency to take life very seriously. They’re life’s worriers.
- Eight year-olds are often enthusiastic about life and tend to be outgoing.
- Nine year-olds may make a serious grab for independence and may start questioning your authority.
It is during these years, that your child will gradually develop his social skills so that he’s able to easily relate to the world beyond his immediate family. Friends and special friendships become more important at this time, and it’s very important to his self-esteem that he feel as though he fits in and is accepted by his friends.
- He will enjoy the company of children of the same sex and has a tendency to stereotype the opposite sex and their associated interests – girls can’t play with trucks, boys can’t play with dolls.
- By six years, he will be beginning to be more responsible.
- By six years, he’ll enjoy the company of his peers and like to share activities with them
- By seven years, he understands that he has to ‘play by the rules’ - and he will expect that those he plays with will abide by the same rules, which can lead to conflict.
- By eight years, he is capable of forming sustained friendships.
- By eight years, he will enjoy participating in team activities.
- Between eight and nine years, he will begin to appreciate that people around him may have a different point of view.
- By nine years, he will be starting to be more careful of his own belongings
- He won’t be able to lose gracefully – instead he’ll be completely focussed on winning at games.
- He may be tempted to steal or lie – while he knows that these are both wrong, he will still struggle with impulse control so is liable to give in to temptation.
- He will enjoy school.
- He may periodically have difficulties with friends.
- He may enjoy spending the night at a friend’s house.
- Don’t stop reading to him, even though he will more often read to himself.
- Don't let him disappear in front of the television or computer games. Monitor how much and how often he spends in front of screens.
- Spend a little special one-on-one time with him every week.
- Encourage his efforts every day. Be realistic about what he is capable of.
- Try not to let him worry about things that are beyond his years and beyond his control.
- Make sure that there’s time in his schedule to just hang out. It’s important that he have down-time to play.
- Your child consistently has a problem forming friendships.
- He is regularly being bullied or being overly aggressive.
- He often lies or cheats
- Separating from you is still an issue.
- He is struggling to keep up in class.
- He has difficulty controlling his bladder or bowels.
How can I encourage his social and emotional development?
During these ‘middle years’ your child will place a lot of emphasis and importance on fitting in and behaving well. With such a well-behaved child in the house, it can be easy for him to get overlooked as he waits patiently to be noticed.
Make sure that you talk with him about his day – he may be experiencing difficulty with friends at school and need your help to resolve these issues.
There may be a problem if:
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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot
Sources include S.A. Govt’s Parenting and Child Health
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